Dikembe – ‘Hail Something’ Review

Posted: by Hannah

It’s an entirely different world than it was 2 years ago; people change with their environments and music changes with its creators. It’s here we find Gainesville, Florida’s Dikembe self-releasing their album on their brand new label, Death Protector, providing the freedom and creative control that obviously meant more to them than playing it safe, and it show’s in the music. Hail Something is a record that works through life and genres to create a true place of honesty where you can figure out you are something worthy of hailing.

Dikembe isn’t afraid to get messy on this album, almost totally letting go of any prior pop undertones to embrace their punk roots with an evident sense of pride. On some tracks it may seem the instruments lose complete sense of direction, but their strong tie to the lyrics to themselves explains any moments of confusion as they both go down together.

The production on Hail Something crams you into the back of basement show where the guitars are loud and noisy, the vocals are fighting for their right to be heard over the noise and you should be making every effort to listen. Why? Because the song writing demands it, the purposeful narrative by lead singer Steven Gray is a thoughtful balance between personal accounts and accessible themes. While “I” is a common component to the record’s lyrics, this empirical writing was necessary for Steven to translate the necessary emotion but it never isolates the listener who can very easily make the “I” their own.

Each track stands strong individually but reaches its full potential together as a collective piece. “Like an Archer” is no lullaby, but with context is clearly confronting the idea and reality of raising a child. The record truly find its voice at “Fix” screaming “I gotta fix my brain” before continuing the conversation on “Shelf” with “I was alone at last, a little more than I asked”. There is no doubt every second of this album was methodical showing that Dikembe is more than just curious about music, they truly care about it and the impact it can have. “Just Explode” is the undeniable jam that will grab the attention of even the most casual listener. “Eat” is a definitive album closer, resolving a previous track “Awful Machine”, concluding that “I am happy to be a better part of the machine” before blurring right back into the soundtrack of that machine with sound bites straight off candid homemade videos.

To “hail something” means to salute or acknowledge it and I believe here Dikembe are hailing family, integrity, patience, healing, awareness, but overall the album as an art form of expression. Hail Something is the band’s most attentive record yet, and my only worry is listeners will miss this by not being attentive themselves. Music is a means of entertainment but if making that the goal sacrifices sincerity and voice you have to ask yourself, have we gained or lost? Well I can tell you these guys from Gainesville itself have gained not only a defining addition to their already impressive discography but hopefully a group of people who aren’t just hearing, their listening because Hail Something proves there’s a lot to be said.


You can grab the record on Bandcamp or on vinyl at Death Protector’s store!